Inherent problems with transporting Cats in a Towed Car?

My BIL (brother-in-law) is moving from Albequerque (sp?) to New York. He and his wife have two tabby cats. They are renting a Uhaul and towing their car across country. They are discussing the best place to put the cats whilst making the trek.

They have a couple options.

A) Keep the cats in the cab with them. Maybe let them roll around between the seats or some such.

B) Put the cats - with a litter box - in their towed car behind the Uhaul. The car is level not on an angle.

They are leaving in a week. What are the inherent pro’s and cons of this?

I see two main problems with the cats-in-the-towed-car thing:
a)You wont know if the cats are too hot or otherwise in distress (I assume you can’t run the AC on the towed car, and the sun can still be very strong inside a car)
b) There is the potential for the cats to pee or poop anywhere in the car – even if they are very very good kitties being chucked in a tilted moving thing might be enough to rattle them into inappropriate peeing. Now your car smells like cat pee! Yay!

Cats should definitely never be loose in a car. How about putting them in large crates in the back seat?

BTW, I wouldn’t be suprised if they refused food and water during the trip.

I can’t speculate on inherent pros and cons, but I can give you my experience. I rented a U-Haul and towed my car when I moved from Philly to South Bend, Indiana. I put my two cats in separate, fairly large crates in the back of my towed Honda Civic. Each crate was large enough for a small litter pan and food and water bowls, with room for the cat to curl up or pace a bit. I put down a couple of thick towels in the crate so they could next if they liked. I left the front windows of the car cracked open to keep air circulating, although I wonder now if the exhaust from the truck mightn’t have posed a potential hazard. I checked on them at pretty frequent intervals during the first part of the trip, and when I saw they were doing okay, I just checked every time we stopped for food or gas. The cats came through the experience just fine.

My cats wouldn’t have been safe just roaming free either in the cab of the truck (too cramped anyway) or in the towed car. I used to take the vet’s office without a carrier until one of them wormed her way under the passenger seat one day and it came very near to requiring the services of a mechanic to take the seat out just to get her out from under it. The crates just struck me as the best solution for the move.

When I moved from South Bend to the D.C. area, I used the crates again, but this time I was driving the car and somebody else was driving the U-Haul, so I was in the car with the cats the whole way.

er, nest. (Apparently, I type ‘next’ a lot, and ‘nest’ very seldom, because even when I typed that correction, ‘next’ is what came out the first time.)

Yes, this is several days journey. Not just a small jaunt.

The Kangaroo_in_Black and I moved from Albuquerque to Washington, DC about a year ago. We rented a Penske truck due to their unlimited milage allowance. We also moved with two cats.

We went to the vet and got some kitty sedatives, and put them in cat carriers in the cab of the truck, in between the two seats. We gave them towels to cuddle up to. They pretty much yowled if the cab was noisy and slept if the cab was quiet. So we had no radio or talking most of the trip. I really hope your family members are not subjected to this.

We let them out at hotels, and dealt with litter box, food and water there, at our vet’s recommendation. It worked very well (minus the very silent trip), and I would recommend this to your family. We didn’t have to tow a car, but I think the issues brought up above really would be problematic.

Of minor help…don’t feed them about 6 hours prior to the days trip.

We took a cat for about an 8-hour drive in a cat carrier and he slept or sat quietly for the bulk of the journey. It is my sister-in-laws cat, and I suggested to her to not feed it after midnight since we were leaving at dawn. Well, she felt sorry for him and fed him because he ‘looked’ hungry. 10 minutes into the trip (not even to the highway yet, the cat starts to yowl. I knew what was going to happen, but my SIL was trying to attend to thing and ask what’s wrong. The thing yakked before I had a chance to pull over, but we got the crate cleaned out and he was fine the rest of the way. I don’t recall what we did for potty breaks on the way. I’m guessing that he crossed his legs and as soon as we stopped and dropped him in some litter, he went immediately. I certainly don’t remember having to clean up any messes.

Other experiences suggest that they prefer to be bundled up or in close quarters while the vehicle is in motion…sort of a anti-dog behaviour.

Please make sure the fuzzbutts are in crates/kennels/carriers, etc. Cats can and do freak out during travel, and the door opening can result in an escaped and possibly lost/injured/killed cat.

Keep the cats in carriers, and keep the carriers with you. Mine get cranky at times during trips, and I keep them in their carriers. The safest bet is to belt the carriers in, away from the impact areas of airbags.

Another vote for carriers. We moved two of our cats from TX to WI, and they were in carriers the whole time we were in the car. They had access to food, water, and litter when we stopped for the night, and we let them out in the motel room to stretch their legs and get some attention. We gave them mild sedatives (Rx from the vet) for the car, and they slept most of the trip. They did fine, even when we hit an icy patch on the road and did four 360s down the middle of the highway. I was wishing for some of those kitty sedatives right about then…

Anyone besides me read the thread title as Internet problems with transporting Cats in a Towed Car?

::visualizing a U-Haul full of CAT-5 cabling::

My parents did DC to Albuquerque with a cat and an infant. I think they had the cat in a cage and the kid in a car seat, though I suppose it could have been the other way around. But I’d definitely have the cats in a cage and possibly even see if they can be leashed to let them out at times without losing them.

OK you made my night. :smiley: